Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.- ^- VERSES 3, 4. 159 us to repentance, " O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God ;" to put words into our mouth, and to draw our petition for us, " Take with you words and say unto him, Take away all iniquity," &c. to furnish us with arguments, we are fatherless, thou art merciful ; to encourage us with promises, G6 I will heal, I will love ;" to give us his ministers to proclaim, and his Spirit to apply these mercies unto us. If he did not convince us that iniquity would be a downfal and a ruin unto us, Ezek. xviii. 30. we should hold it fast and be pleased with our disease, like a madman who quarrels with his cure, and had rather continue mad than be healed, Job iii. 19 -21. If being convinced he did not invite us to repent- ance, we should run away from him as Adam did. No man loves to be in the company of an enemy, much less when that enemy is a judge. " They have turned their back unto me, and not their face," Jer. ii. 27. Adam will hide himself " from the presence of the Lord," Gen. iii. 8. and Cain " will go out from the presence of the Lord," Gen. iv. 16. Guilt cannot look upon majesty, stubble dares not come near the fire ; if we be in our sins, we cannot stand before God, Ezra ix. 15. If being invited, he did not put words into our mouths, we should not know what to say unto him. We know not wherewith to come before the Lord, or to bow before the high God, if he do not show us what is good, Mic. vi. 6.8. Where God is the Judge, who cannot be mocked or derided, who knoweth all things, and if our heart condemn us, he is greater than our hearts, and wherever we hide can find us out and make our sin to find us too, Gal. vi. 7. 1 John iii. 20. Num. xxxii. 23. where, I say, this God is the Judge, there guilt stoppeth the mouth and maketh the sinner o2